WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said a 51-year-old man under investigation by the Kansas Department of Revenue asked for his victim by name before opening fire. It happened around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday at the shopping center near 21st and Amidon.
“The victim contacted the suspect in front of the business, and they were discussing about the investigation when the suspect brandished a handgun and fired multiple times striking the victim,” said Charley Davidson, Wichita Police Department.
The employee was identified as 35-year-old Cortney Holloway. Holloway was shot multiple times and remains in serious condition at Via Christi St. Francis.
The suspect was arrested about a half hour later at 35th and Arkansas after fleeing in a pickup. Jail records identify him as 51-year-old Ricky Wirths. Wirths was booked into jail on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder. He has not been formally charged with a crime.
Tuesday morning officials from the Department of Revenue and Sedgwick County civil service were at Wirths home in reference to a Department of Revenue investigation. Tax records indicate Wirths owes $196,455.36 for four tax periods spanning 2012 to 2015. The other tax warrant amounts to $198,250.02 for unpaid consumers compensating use tax.
Neighbors of the suspect said the man they know is far from violent.
“He was always a happy-go-lucky guy. Like, I said he’s always willing to help anybody on this block,” said Brenda Chandler, neighbor.
“Yeah, he plays with my kids and lets them come over and play in his yard and that sort of thing. Never had any problems with him, he’s always been polite and well-mannered with us, so, I don’t know what happened,” said Anna, neighbor.
Neighbors add they weren’t aware of any financial issues. Instead, they knew Wirths as a successful business owner.
“He even gave my son a job for a while,” said Brenda Daniels, former neighbor.
Gov. Sam Brownback released a statement and said the office where the shooting occurred will be closed the rest of the week.
“This is a state employee who was doing his job and enforcing the law. I ask everyone to join Mary and I in praying for Cortney and his family,” Governor Brownback said. “I’m thankful for Cortney’s work and thankful for the police officers who apprehended the suspect.”
Cort’s family provided a statement through Via Christi St. Francis. It reads, “The Holloway family deeply appreciates the outpouring of community support, particularly from Gov. Brownback, the employees of the Kansas Department of Revenue and the other public officials who have visited. In this time of difficulty, we ask for space, as well as your continued thoughts and prayers.”